Donna Edwards for U.S. Senate
I am proud to join the voters of the 4th district in their overwhelming support of Congresswoman Donna Edwards’ bid for U.S. Senator. Ms. Edwards, a single mom and attorney, will draw upon her eight years of experience in Congress, community organizing background, and life story to be an effective and progressive Democratic voice in the Senate.
According to her website, Ms. Edwards has held leadership positions in Congress, supported progressive issues, and is unequivocal in her support of Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare. She was an early supporter of the president’s Iran nuclear deal, and has garnered support from the majority of Prince George’s County Council members, various unions, EMILY’s list, and other progressive organizations.
When Ms. Edwards, the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Maryland, announced her candidacy to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) polls, pundits, and establishment insiders gave her little chance of winning.
Conversely, the Democratic establishment deemed Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D-Md., 8th), the prohibitive favorite in the race. He was a veteran congressman, had millions in campaign money, an extensive network of friends and allies, and early endorsements from PACs, unions, and some African-American elected officials. And, I suspect some in the establishment even viewed Van Hollen as a prototypical Senate candidate and agree with State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller’s conclusion, that Van Hollen is “…a leader who has been born to the job,” as he was recently quoted in the Washington Post. It is revealing to contrast Mr. Miller’s sentiment with that expressed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski 30 years ago, during her first Senate campaign, she was quoted as saying: “A lot of Americans, black or white or female, are always told that they don’t look the part [of a Senator]. It’s one of the oldest code words.” And just last year she responded to the notion that gender should play less of a role in our elections by saying “Whenever you have a minority status in our society, it’s like, ‘Oh, why should that count?’ … Well, it does count,” she said.
Critics of Mr. Miller’s state- ment say it smacks of white male entitlement because only white males, with the exception of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, have represented Maryland in the U.S. Senate since it first convened in 1789. Van Hollen supporters, however, claim that this election is not about race or gender, but simply about who is the “best person.” But, this claim is contradicted by recent polls showing a deep split along racial lines among voters.
Look, both candidates are qualified and good Democrats, but I am voting for Donna Edwards. I believe that her life experiences, which are similar to many of those who suffer from inequities in our society, make her innately attuned to and better able to express their urgent needs on the Senate floor. Donna will not waiver in her fight against gender, racial, and pay inequities and for criminal justice reform, and better job and educational opportunities for poor and middle class families
I am also voting for her because our representatives in the Senate need to better reflect the population demographics of our state.